Those that have been given the charge and have the responsibility to educate others must be committed to continuous learning. Learning is fundamental throughout one’s career no matter what field. Professional development (PD) is a lifelong endeavor which allows educators to grow. Educators must improve their craft like a star athlete or musician. Educators should constantly work to increase their competence in order to take their skills to the next level.
Professional development must be intentional which requires setting goals both personal and professional. The overarching goal for a school system’s professional learning plan should be to get everyone to the point where they become a part of a high-performing, collaborative team that focuses on improving student learning as a part of a professional learning community.
Employees need to invest in themselves and employers need to invest in their people. People are the most important resource of any organization. Every person should have the opportunity for growth no matter their title or role. Professional development is critical in developing the leadership pipeline.
There are more ways than ever to participate in professional development. Options include videos, podcasts, audio books, blogs, textbooks, magazines, Twitter chats, conferences and workshops. No one has to wait for their workplace to offer PD because there are many ways to learn, some of which are free and simply require a commitment of time and the willingness to change.
The improvement of school performance, the quality of classroom instruction, and the implementation of new initiatives are all affected by the quality and quantity of professional learning offered within a district. The world is constantly changing. Professional development must be ongoing to meet the challenges of our ever-changing world. Continued education of all employees benefits the entire community, not just the individual. Professional development is the vehicle that will help teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and others to carry out the work that is necessary to grow and positively affect student achievement.